Everyone has a “map” to tell? Translating stories of participatory scenario narratives into maps of spatially explicit information


In research, stories are often created using scenario planning to understand future land use and land cover (LULC) changes. With scenario narratives, decision-makers can proactively consider uncertainties when choosing between different policy options. Many global scenarios need downscaling to the local level to make an assessment of potential futures possible for particular landscapes. While this approach ensures high-resolution LULC, it lacks context regarding local circumstances. On the other hand, scenarios developed on a local scale lack spatially explicit, quantitative information while providing opportunities for stakeholders to engage in decision-making processes. As few studies out there tackle these limitations by translating qualitative narrative scenarios at the landscape level into quantitative LULC maps, Duguma et al. (2022) propose a new, five-step approach.

A landscape in southwestern Ethiopia. Photo credit: Girma Shumi.

1. Development of the narrative scenarios
2. Current land cover mapping
3. Translation of narrative into qualitative spatially explicit rules

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